Between 10th May and 10th June 2022, apart from showcasing more than 60 films to our audience, Odyssey: a Chinese cinema season will also be hosting 10 discussion panels, exploring aspects of UK-China film collaboration and other topics such as regional cinemas and the role of female film programmers in China.

At the current turbulent time, where misunderstandings lead to complex geopolitics and tension, it is the private and the public sector’s responsibility to maintain some sort of conversation and exchange of ideas. Creative collaboration must not stop, nor cultural exchange on a personal level. Last year we achieved a huge success for our cutting edge panels, with more than 500 attendees participating in total. This year we will charge on to bring you another 10 brand new topics.

We hope that these panels will inspire a wider intellectual, creative and commercial discussion around film collaborations between the UK, Greater China and beyond.

 

Panel 1: TwinFlame: the reception of British cinema among a Chinese audience

13 May 2022,  Friday | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenors & Speakers: 

Lily Collinson, Lead Literary Curator and Publicist, UK-China Film Collab

Leo Dong, International Documentary Producer and Lead Community Curator, UK-China Film Collab

Panel Description:

How are UK films received by the Chinese audience? There is generally a lack of transparent data available. To fill in this gap of public knowledge, the UK-China Film Collab has been conducting a communication campaign #ukfilmsinChina across our various social media platforms. Lily Collinson and Leo Dong will speak at this panel discussing the reception of British cinema from a Chinese audience by analysing data gathered from Chinese platforms such as Douban. The panel will utilise reviews from Chinese viewers of recent British films such as ‘1917’ and ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ and analyse their relative success or failure in China. The speakers will look to the future of UK films in China and how the reception of such films can be improved to reinforce our connection, through our mutual appreciation of cinema. 

Register now. 

 

Panel 2: A new exploration of UK-China co-production film

14 May 2022, Saturday | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Yawen Liu, Producer and International Film Specialist, UK-China Film Collab

Panellists to be confirmed.

 

Panel Description:

Following our co-productions panel last year, this year we will continue to explore this new creative and business space. The following questions will be discussed in this panel: Future development of script writing in Sino-British co-productions; how to cooperate and innovate in the development of China-UK co-productions; how can Chinese stories engage Western audiences; how can we balance the engagementbetween Eastern and Western audiences; how can we unify technical standards and business models (including post-production and streaming platform sales) between China and the UK; and finally what are the cultural differences between China and UK in films. 

Register now. 

 

Panel 3: Women’s practice in the contemporary Chinese film industry: female film programmers on the rise

20 May 2022, Friday | 13:00-14:30 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Liao Zhang, PhD Candidate in Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham; Lead Women’s Film Programme Curator & Lead of Public Relations (Odyssey), UK-China Film Collab

Panellists: 

Yishu Wang, Festival Manager of Minute International Short Film Festival,Head of Competition and Screening of FIRST International Film Festival (former) 

Moxiao Li, Co-Founder & Programmer of The One International Women’s Film Festival

Dr. Shan Tong, Scholar & Programmer of Beijing International Short Film Festival

Xue Gu, Film Director, Co-Founder & Programmer of Inner Mongolia Film Week, Curator of the World Nomadic Film Festival

Panel Description:

Film programming is a form of knowledge production. Whether the programmer is a part of an institution or independent, their job is never merely to choose “the best films” for their audience simply based on the film’s artistic merit. Their understandings of the world, cultural identities and political perspectives are always embodied in the film programmes they compile and therefore unwittingly influence the perceptions of their audiences. Then, for a female film programmer, what role does her gender identity play in the programming practice?

With the growth of many newly established film festivals in China in recent years, more and more female programmers have began appearing in the spotlight and taking over positions of power. This led us to wonder what impact does the rise of female programmers have on the contemporary Chinese film industry? With such curiosities, we organised this discussion panel to focus on the rise of female film programmers in the contemporary Chinese film industry. This panel brings together four institutional and independent film programmers from different film festivals in China, to reflect on what changes their emergence has brought to this traditionally male-dominated field, as well as what challenges and dilemmas they encountered through their practice. 

*This panel will be conducted in Chinese, but open to audiences from all backgrounds to attend. Simultaneous interpretation available in English.

Simultaneous Interpretation Support: 

Dr. Xiaoran Zhang, PhD in Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham,  International Online Streaming Distribution Research Specialist.

Ethan Shi, Producer and International Film Relations Negotiator, UK-China Film Collab

Register now. 

 

Panel 4: Potentials and Obstacles for British cinema showcase in China

21 May 2022, Saturday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Xiaolian Qiu, International Film Exhibition Curation Specialist, UK-China Film Collab

 

 

Panellists: 

Zita Zhong, Film Curator, Programming and Marketing Manager of Broadway Cinematheque Shenzhen, China

Dr Bruce Chu, Lecturer in Film Studies, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Panel Description:

Foreign countries’ film exhibitions have been practised in cinemas in China for years, and there is a sophisticated model of organising non-Chinese films season led by arthouse cinema chains or film distribution associations. Showcases regarding French, Italian, and German films were regularly screened annually in China in the past few years. In the last several years, Chinese audiences also enjoyed large-scale Spanish film seasons, Finnish film exhibitions, Japanese film seasons, and even Brazilian film seasons in the cinemas. The organisational chain of foreign cinema showcases, together with audience groups has been well-developed by this special form of film screening, which gives foreign films that haven’t been officially screened or distributed in China another opportunity to meet today’s Chinese audiences.  

The showcase of British films, however, compared with its’ fellow ‘western non-Hollywood cinemas’, are rarely screened in China. We can draw the conclusion that there hasn’t been a cross-city British film exhibition in China. This panel tries to analyse the rarity of British film exhibitions in China and disclose the underlying reasons by answering the following questions. How does a foreign country’s film exhibition happen; do British films have the potential, what kind of British film exhibition would be expected by Chinese audiences; what are the obstacles when organising a foreign film exhibition, what would be the most probable barrier if we organise a British cinema showcase?

*This panel will be conducted in Chinese, but open to audiences from all backgrounds to attend. Simultaneous interpretation available in English.

Simultaneous Interpretation Support: 

Catalina, Master of Science in Modern and Contemporary Art

Register now. 

 

Panel 5: Chinese regional cinemas

7 May 2022, Friday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Jiakai Nie (Franklin), Research Specialist for Regional Cinema and Head of Film Festival (Odyssey), UK-China Film Collab

Speaker: 

Dr Zhaoyu Zhu, Teaching Fellow in Communication and Cultural Studies, Ningbo Nottingham University 

Panel Description:

This panel discussion will focus on mainland Chinese regional cinema from the past to present. We aim to expand the scope of Chinese cinema discussions by not relying on big cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing. Instead, this panel discussion will remind audiences of the diversity of Chinese cinema by tracing the history and development of different regional expressions in cinema. For example, we will touch upon multiple waves that are emerged in contemporary Chinese cinema with strong regional elements, from Northeast to Southern new waves. Furthermore, we will explore whether these waves can be seen as different directors’ identify with their hometowns. 

How do we interpret regional expressions? What constitutes the locality of mainland Chinese cinema, from local dialects, sceneries, memories, and unique cultures? Dr. Zhaoyu Zhu will conduct a presentation following a discussion between Zhaoyu and this panel discussion’s chair Jiakai Nie. With the audience having the ability to ask questions.

Register now. 

 

Panel 6:  Global sustainability as a storytelling strategy for non-Hollywood films

28 May 2022, Saturday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Giulia D’Aquila, PhD Candidate in Chinese Studies, Lau China Institute, King’s College London; International Audience Analyst, UK-China Film Collab

Panellists: 

Linda Wong, Secretariat, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation 

Karma Wangdi, Head of Operations, Television for the Environment

Panel Description:

This panel will feature experts from the UK, Finland and China to discuss the importance of global sustainability as a storytelling strategy for the non-Hollywood international films. Environmental sustainability is a topic of global relevance, and one for which international action is needed in order to succeed. This panel will explore the impact that films have in making a social impact and attracting people’s sensibility towards this matter. Moreover, it will highlight the potential of this subject matter in transforming national, culturally bound, or personal stories into international and global ones, as was the case with My Octopus Teacher (2020).

The panel will present different approaches to the theme of sustainability in films, including animation, documentary, short films and comedies, and explore opportunities for the Chinese film industry to dig deeper into this topic for a better distribution of their films worldwide. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A session where the audience will have a chance to ask their questions.

Register now. 

 

Panel 7: Future development of Chinese animation industry and international collaboration

3 June 2022, Friday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor: 

Dr Hiu Man Chan, Founder & Director of UK-China Film Collab

Panellists to be confirmed.

Panel Description:

The animation sector in China has been booming for a while, followed by the success of Ne Zha (2019), which grossed over £300 million at the box-office in its domestic market alone. Animation studios around the world are curious about this rising market and have been exploring ways to engage with it. Recent examples of international collaborations include Wish Dragon (2021) and Over the Moon (2021). Both films have gained a relatively good reputation worldwide although did not perform well at the Chinese box-office. On the contrary, Ne Zha did not travel far apart from its domestic success, why is this the case? Animation is considered the most accessible genre for a family oriented audience. What are the potentials for Chinese animation and its international development? What kinds of stories are worth telling and what aesthetics are the best for an international audience to consume?

This panel aims to explore the current and future state of Chinese animation in the international landscape. 

Register now. 

 

Panel 8: An investigation into current press coverages of Chinese-language films in the UK

4 June 2022, Saturday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Host: 

Dr Hiu Man Chan, Founder & Director, UK-China Film Collab

 

Speaker: 

Martha Harwood, Journalism and Communications Specialist, UK-China Film Collab

Panel Description:

The presence of Chinese cinema is increasing in the west, but how often is it even mentioned in British journalism? The Chinese box office is hot on the heels of America’s, and it will likely become the largest and most successful very soon. Journalism plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between a film and its audience, so if the ever expanding world of Chinese films is unrepresented in journalism, how can it find an audience in the West? 

Martha’s research has been primarily based around collecting data to support her hypothesis that Chinese cinema is largely overlooked by British journalism. In this panel, Martha hopes to share her findings so far and start a discussion about the role of journalism in the world of cinema and international relations. 

Register now. 

 

Panel 9: New business ideas and model for UK-China film collaboration

9 June 2022, Thursday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Host: 

Dr Hiu Man Chan, Founder & Director, UK-China Film Collab

 

 

Panellists: 

Dr Xiaosong Yang, Associate Professor, National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University 

Dr Pearl Wang, Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Panel Description:

This panel will introduce the latest AHRC funded project led by Dr Xiaosong Yang. The “UK-China Research and Innovation Collaboration in Cloud-based Virtual Film Production (UCCVP)” project aims to explore and investigate the status of cloud-based virtual film production in both the UK and China, identifying the key challenges of cross-country remote coordination and developing future strategic plans for UK-China collaborations in the film industry. The project will deliver a thorough market research report to inform and guide research institutes in the UK for future investment in working with China, and build a collaborative network in research and innovation, including beneficiaries in both academic and industrialcommunities from the two countries.

Register now. 

 

Panel 10: New distribution strategies for Chinese films in the UK

10 June 2022, Friday  | 13:00 – 14:00 BST via Zoom

Convenor:

Ethan Shi, Producer and International Film Relations Negotiator, UK-China Film Collab

 

 

Panellists:

Cedric Behrel, Managing Director, Trinity CineAsia

Dr Xiaochun Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Bristol

Panel Description:

The appearanceof China as a modern nation has shaped the concurrent emergence of new cinematic styles. However, with all of that excitement, the visibility of Chinese films is still limited in the UK since the UK audience may only recall older generations of Chinese filmmakers like Zhang Yimou (Raise The Red Lantern) and Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine). Chinese language films rarely appear anywhere other than at film festivals, art-house cinemas, or digitally on demand. Therefore, the fluidity of foreign film distribution has complicated our understanding of international film culture, distribution, and exhibition of modern Chinese films across the UK. Innovative distribution methods might be the key to success, as it determines who gets to watch films, under what circumstances, and where. 

Through this panel, Ethan aims to have an open debate with industry specialists from film distributors to academics in the UK specialising in Chinese cinema and international distribution. Distribution strategies, translation, and UK-China film collaborations like co-productions could be referenced, along with discussions about the importance and impact of Chinese film releases on the UK audience.

Register now. 

 


About Odyssey

Odyssey aims to empower a shared appreciation of film, to create an inclusive cinematic experience, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. From 10th May to 10th June 2022, with more than 40 films in 6 curated sections, 10 panel discussions and many inspiring Q&A sessions, we will bring you a whole month of outstanding and innovative Chinese cinema that promises to illuminate your mind. The festival will not only introduce the latest young Chinese film talents to the UK audience, but also provide forums for professionals to exchange creativity and business ideas.

Odyssey will take place in a hybrid format in 2022. The opening film screening will be hosted in person by our venue partner, the Picturehouse Cinemas, in London and Edinburgh on 10th May with a reception. Most of the programme will be available online for all audiences across the country, and we will also organise several pop-up special cinema screenings throughout. The online festival platform of Odyssey will be powered by Shift 72.

ODYSSEY’S HEADLINE SPONSOR

 

Who is our Headline Sponsor this year? – Your most reliable renting company in London!

Azad Ayub Limited is a multi-national award-winning property management and development company, founded by investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Azad Ayub who has a background in international civil engineering. The company owns and manages properties in North London and has been providing high-quality houses to its clients for over 30 years. Recently the company’s portfolio has expanded to Spain, Pakistan and the USA.

Apart from his property business, Azad has been generously giving back to society as a reputable philanthropist. He is a keen supporter of some of the most prestigious charities in the UK, including Able Child Africa, Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity, Television for the Environment (Trustee), Royal Institute (Patron) and many more.

We would like to thank Mr Azad Ayub for his generous support toward our Odyssey journey.

Related Information

Keep yourself updated with our upcoming exciting programme announcements by following our social media accounts!

Festival Date: 10th May – 10th June 2022
Format: Offline in London, Edinburgh, and Online via Shift 72
Presented by UK-China Film Collab
Festival Website: odysseychinesecinema.uk
Festival Instagram & Twitter: odysseyccs

For Press Enquiry Please Contact

Liao Zhang

Lead of Public Relations
Email: [email protected]
WeChat: LZ_Gloria